The Racism of the Looney Tunes

We grew up watching the lovable characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig etc. however; the times have changes since when they were created and now. A lot of the shows created had a lot of minor characters that were of a racist design.

Germans as Asians

When these episodes were created it was still socially acceptable to make these black face or Yellow face jokes. These days however, with our society becoming more sensitive to racism culturally aware, shows like the Looney Tunes have begun to cycle the shows that contain such racism out of Television circulation. Older DVD’s that contain these episodes have disclaimers on the start of the DVD’s stating that the DVD contains sensitive content that could offend audiences.

It’s understandable why this content has become back burner content for Warner Bros. Upsetting society on content that was created over 50 years ago is something a corporate entity would want to hide from. However, the content is part of history. Kids grew up watching it for nearly 50 years why change it now? I like to imagine Mrs. Lovejoy is sitting at these meetings concerning these episodes going “Won’t somebody please think of the children.”

In a world where we are trying to raise kids to be more culturally sensitive and stomp the racism out of society. It would be considered a bad idea to have shown depicting racism shown to kids at a young age. So it is understandable why warner bros. have cycled the more culturally sensitive shows out of television.

What that argument brings into question is though, ” Did these shows affect us growing up?” Like I have stated previously we were raised watching these shows, watching as Looney tunes fight the evils of the Asian axis armies and the Japanese during WW2. Did these episodes really affect us to the point where we are culturally insensitive towards Asians now? I don’t think so, I think we are raised to know right from wrong and we knew that it was depicting the evils of our enemies of WW2. I can remember watching these episodes during History in year 10 when we were talking about World War 2. If the episodes are good enough for education then they should be good enough for kids to watch and get entertainment out of. Of course if the kids start to act out and think that all Asians are evil due to this show that’s when you would need to talk to them.

Overall I agree that the shows could be cycled out of circulation and having the disclaimers is a good thing. However, the shows didn’t affect me growing up and the characters created and shown are important to our history on this planet.

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One Response to The Racism of the Looney Tunes

  1. abbeycubit says:

    Hey Andrew,

    Really enjoyed reading your blog. I think you make some really great points and integrate your personal opinions really well. I never had though about it but now that you mention it, there were a lot of comments and characters that today would be considered very racist. Even though you said that these types of shows didn’t make you a racist person, and you learnt right from wrong through education, do you think these shows still create an initial platform that then set a path for us as children to have such concepts of the ‘Asians’ as the bad guys etc? I know the main characters in looney tunes have talking rabbits and birds, so we know that its not real, but I think that we may be kidding ourselves if we think it doesn’t change our initial perceptions of a culture we are yet to meet in real life. Whilst this may be considered a childish perception, it could be a possibility that these notions will unconsciously then carry on to adulthood. What do you think?

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